Following the bizarre attack on Clive Hamilton a few weeks ago, the Oz editorial page gives a full length response to the various online sources (mostly not named, but Peter Brent at Mumble cops the most flak, and Crikey is obviously an intended target) who bagged Tuesday’s silly beatup of a no-news opinion poll. Not only that, it seems that a post at Tim Dunlop’s blogocracy, commenting on the editorial, has been removed. Naturally, the blogosphere has gone to town on this. LP has commentary and heaps of links, many pointing out the absurdity of relying on the “preferred PM” question, not that you need a blog on this point
But the silliest thing doesn’t come until the end, where the editorial says
It reflects how out of touch with ordinary views so many on-line commentators are. They claim to understand the mainstream but in reality represent a clique that believes what it considers to be the evils of the Howard Government position on Iraq, climate change, and Work Choices to be self-evident truths. They despair that Mr Howard has not suffered the same collapse in public support as US President George W Bush and Newspoll makes it clear Mr Howard still enjoys very strong support in the electorate.
As for saying that “Newspoll makes it clear Mr Howard still enjoys very strong support in the electorate”, this is a piece of question-begging even more absurd than the original article. I think it’s safe to say that the main emotion felt on the left, when reading the results of Newspoll and its competitors, is not despair but fear that they are too good to be true.
If a blogger was writing pieces like this in response to relatively restrained criticism of a silly post, I’d anticipate reading a “Farewell” post in the near future, or possibly just finding the site taken down. I don’t know exactly what the mainstream media equivalent would be, but clearly the Oz knows it is in big trouble.